Facebook, without a doubt, dominates the social media world as over 900 million people log in to this site each day. Because of this, Facebook has emerged as one of the main marketing vehicles used not only by large corporations, but by small and medium enterprises as well. Though it definitely has clout over millions of internet users, you should be knowledgeable on how to best use the marketing tools it offers; otherwise, you won't be able to take advantage of its powerful platform. You can't just create a Facebook page and expect that your business will skyrocket from there.
Facebook recognizes the value it brings to small companies and thus always endeavors to create something new and relevant for them. Facebook Online Operations Director Sarah Smith explains that it hopes to be able to help small business owners grow their customer base and more effectively market their products and services.
Maximize Facebook as a marketing tool:
Below are some good insights from Smith on what small business owners can do to maximize Facebook as a marketing tool.
- If you plan to use Facebook for your business, be sure to be truthful and sincere in what you tell your customers. Share real stories that your customers will be interested to hear in the same way that they are eager to know about what happened to their family and friends for the day. You also have to make it fun and enjoyable for your customers to view your page and read your posts.
- Small business owners should measure and monitor the effectiveness and reach of their Facebook page. One way of doing this is by keeping an eye on the figure in "People Talking About This". Also, you should not only look at the number of fans your Facebook page has, but also the friends of fans that have been reached. Moreover, you should establish a mechanism by which you can determine how much of your customers have known about you from Facebook so you can see the direct correlation between your sales and your social media efforts.
- Another useful but not commonly used tool is "Page Insights" which helps you understand the kinds of stories that spark the interest of your followers and how extensive your messages are getting across a broad spectrum of audiences. You should make the most of this Facebook offering as it provides an instant (not to mention, free) market analysis for your company. From the "Page Insights", find out what your customer segments are, what type of messaging works best for them, and if and how your promotions are accepted and shared by your fans.
- Learn from the tips provided by Facebook through its marketing page @facebook.com/marketing. You can also watch the videos and webinars that are available at @facebook.com/classroom. Both of these are aimed at helping small business owners do effective marketing without having to spend millions of dollars each year.
- Of course, you have to run Facebook ads aside from your usual marketing messages in your page to extend your reach to more people and to hopefully generate more sales for your business. The good thing about Facebook advertising is that you can define your target audience according to age, gender and geographical location. Also, make sure you align your advertising efforts to the interests of most of your customers. Experiment on what ad will have the most positive response from your fans and be creative in crafting your messages.
You can also use broad categories to tailor fit your ads to your targeted audience. For example, if your business is a pet shop, choose "pets" from the "interests" category so you can reach all Facebook users who have or like pets.
Lastly, you can utilize "Promoted Posts", a new tool from Facebook that allows you to convert popular posts to ad materials. For example, if you see from your "Page Insights" that your post about the iPad created a buzz among many of your fans, then you can promote this and be able to reach out to even more online users.